Martellus Bennett has no time for domestic violence.
The former NFL tight end appeared Thursday on an “Athletes + Activism” forum hosted by The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill and touched on several topics, including Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing efforts to combat police brutality and the mistreatment of minorities. The conversation at one point shifted to the issue of domestic violence in professional sports, and Bennett made it clear he was disgusted with Ray Rice, whose NFL career ultimately ended after a video surfaced in 2014 of the former Baltimore Ravens running back dragging his then-fiancée (now-wife), Janay Palmer, out of an elevator in Atlantic City.
“Watching the video of Ray Rice, I wanted to choke the s— out of Ray Rice,” Bennett said. “Right? I wanted to punch him in the face. When I see those guys, if they’re on my team, I have issues with those guys. Like I’m going to tackle you every single day. Right? Hit me! I’m serious. This pisses me off when I see these things going on.”
Bennett doesn’t just have an issue with domestic violence from a moral standpoint. He also doesn’t understand the NFL’s punishment for such transgressions, as there seems to be inconsistency across the board, especially when compared to how the league handles marijuana- and other drug-related suspensions.
“If you hit a woman, you should not be playing football,” Bennett said.
“There’s not any excuse for child abuse,” the 32-year-old added, alluding to the ongoing situation involving Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill ” … Hitting a child to me at this position is ridiculous. Discipline your child, discipline how you want, you know what I’m saying. But things get to the extreme.”
Bennett, who spent parts of two seasons with the New England Patriots in his 10-year NFL career, certainly isn’t afraid to speak his mind, regardless of the topic, and it appears he’s more than ready to take a stand against domestic violence and the culprits who commit such disgusting acts.